I have embarked on a trip down memory lane because of this video:
(If you don’t have time to watch it, its point is same-sex couples can raise children in a hunky dory way thank you very much.)
Come with me as I take you back in time to 2003. I was 17, living in Northern Ireland, studying for my A levels and working part-time at a clothes shop called D2.
Now my memory gets a bit fuzzy on the whys and whats but my manager (a devout Catholic) made the statement ‘I don’t think gay people should be allowed to raise children. It’s not healthy.’
Dum dum dummmmmmmmmmmm
Silence in the stock room.
Now, manager lady wasn’t being malicious or being homophobic on purpose. She had never had a problem with me or hearing about my first awful steps into the world of dating. However she was demonstrating how wonderfully ignorant people can be.
After a second or two to compute what had been said I replied:
‘I was raised by my Mum on her lonesome with all the care and love that she has in her. I honestly can’t imagine how much a gay couple would love and care for their child if they are going to battle through all the stigma associated with being a same-sex couple raising a child. If you are saying that the love they would give their child is the wrong type of love and it should only be a man and a woman who raises a child are you saying that all single parents shouldn’t be allowed to raise children?’
Again things get a bit fuzzy here and I’m not sure how the conversation ended.
- I hopefully went about my days work happy as Larry.
- I probably went to the till and found some one to bitch with.
- I could have started crying.
- There is a slim chance that I murdered her and the body is still not found.
What I do remember is Manager coming up to me later and saying thank you as she had never looked at family that way before.
Job well done.
I think it’s really easy for some one like myself to become exceptionally complacent when it comes to gay rights and be blind/ignorant to the inequality that some gay people suffer. I suppose it helps that I surround myself with what I consider good people, that my family let me do what I like as long as I’m not hurting myself or other people and that I have fantastic colleagues.
I should try harder to help others. The very least I can do is make sure that the way I chose to present myself to others wont reflect negatively on other people that I might be associated with.
*In Belfast this is still an actual thing, crowds boo, churches organize advertising campaigns and counter protests. There is a whole behind the scenes fiasco that it has to go through the parades commission which was set up because of the Orange day marches but doesn’t exactly fall into the remit of this group and every year they leave it to the last possible moment to let every one know that Pride can go ahead. So even though it is a jolly ol time there is still that feeling of making a difference which I think is lacking from other Pride parades/marches/parties. Or I could just be biased as Belfast means something to me.